Sakurai Yuki is an orphan with a mysterious ability. Found near the fence of his current home, the Asahi Orphanage, Yuki strives for independence. The last thing he wants is to be a burden to anybody. However, his ability makes this nearly impossible; whenever he touches someone, he feels their emotions and see the darkness within their hearts and what caused such darkness. Unable to control his ability, Yuki has often made insensitive blunders while trying to empathize with the person he feels pain for. Now, however, with death threats clouding his judgement and his ability increasing immensely, what will happen when a man claiming to be Yuki's older brother appears?
This is a bishounen anime. It's a showcase of gorgeous guys. It has very pretty animation--lots of the outdoor scenes have a rich, glowing atmosphere, characters live in ornamented rooms, and everyone has detailed hair and eyes that glow like gems. But the eye-candy factor is really the only positive thing about this anime. It's the only reason I didn't give it a lower rating, which it honestly deserves.
I don't mean to offend, but probably the only viewers that would actually enjoy this show are angsty teen girls who need some affirmation. Because the side characters spend most of their time worrying about, discussing, or affirming our main character (who comes across as a sensitive weakling who doesn't actually do anything).
I gave this series a low rating because there is practically no story. It's almost as if the script began as 4-episode OVA, but then someone decided to stretch it into a full-season series. For an incredible 24 episodes, practically nothing happens, and by the end of the series, we've barely learned anything about the characters. Even about Yuki, who's supposedly our hero.
The setup seemed promising. We meet our main character, Yuki. He apparently has some supernatural skill, including healing. More interesting is his ability to look into people's minds by touching them.
Yuki was raised at an orphanage. A guy claiming to be his long-lost brother takes him out, tells Yuki that he is a re-incarnated fighter, and now must live with other re-incarnated fighters. For centuries, the souls of these warriors have been fighting demons in each generation. Each character has a unique fighting skill. And most of these warriors are high school kids (and, of course, totally hot-looking).
The first few episodes were interesting, but after that, it seemed the series devolved into....Yuki-worship.
Yuki is the only one of the team who has no memories of his past. For some inexplicable reason, all the other warriors adore him. It's like their whole world revolves around him. When Yuki is sad, everyone sits around in the living room, doing nothing. When he is away from the house, they stand around in the dining room, doing nothing. And the whole time, they randomly call out his name: "Yuki," or ask, "I wonder how Yuki is doing now?" "I wonder how he's feeling?" "I feel so sorry for Yuki." It made me want to say, "SHUT UP AND DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE!!! DON'T YOU GUYS HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO?" For warriors, they spend a lot of time worrying about their comrade's...angst. I almost forgot this story was supposed to be about a big battle of good vs. evil.
It's stuff like that which eats up most of the time in each show. Again, and again, characters stand around, randomly saying each other's names. It's like the creators were scraping around trying to stuff in every possible bit of filler they could. I wonder if the actors felt ashamed, having to say such inane lines over and over again.
The things which I actually wanted to know more about was never discussed. For instance, Yuki and Luka's backstory is barely discussed, even though it's supposedly important. Yuki is said to be important to the team, but he barely uses any of his skills. (After the first 2 or 3 episodes, he barely use his super abilities any more.) There are a few meaningful conversations, and an occasional battle (which are decently done).
But for the most part, any chance to put in real or meaningful content was scrapped in favor of filler that communicated...nothing.
I think I've beat this series enough, so I won't say much more (except that a lot of the costumes and weapons were downright cheesy). Unless you're a major bishounen fan, you probably won't enjoy this series much. The last episode wasn't much of an ending. Nothing was really resolved. It was like, "Was that it? Did I miss something?"
(P.S. Despite the tag, it's not truly a shounen-ai)read more
The Zweilt Guardians are a bunch of hot males, plus one female, who have supernatural powers. Their purpose is to defeat these powerful, sexy demons called Duras who wish to destroy mankind. The innocent and oblivious main protagonist, Yuki, is approached by the Zweilts because he is their light and hope in this never-ending battle. Granted, this is just your basic good vs. evil story with pretty boys on the screen, but this by all means ISN'T a bad anime.
STORY & CHARACTERS
Uraboku gets off to a serious start, delving into heavy subject matter such as: orphans, troubled pasts, parental abuse, death threats, and world destruction. What an impressive way to begin things. It makes you wonder why everything is so dark and sinister around the most innocent person in the world, Yuki.
Yuki is a soft-spoken and mature boy who helps to take care of children in an orphanage that he had grown up in, and he often hangs out with his childhood friend. The peaceful days don’t last forever though as the Duras begin to stir activities nearby while his friend engages in more odd, secretive behavior. Furthermore, Yuki has these powers that suddenly awaken and cause problems. After a series of odd events, he meets a mysterious, sexy beast named Luka who claims to be his protector, followed by members of the Zweilt, and the head of the Giou Clan who tells Yuki that he is his half-brother and would like to take him away. So they end up taking him to the Twilight Mansion, and he comes to learn all about the Zweilt Guardians and their shared destiny.
Luka is a powerful duras fighting on the protagonist’s side, and it’s obvious that he is very attracted to Yuki and vice versa. Most of the time, he is standing around quietly with a deadpan expression and wearing ridiculous outfits. While he doesn’t seem to be that great initially, he gradually gets more involved with the other characters. In addition to that, he has an ancient love story that he is hiding from Yuki, and it eventually becomes a concern and interest to him.
The Zweilt Guardians are strong, courageous fighters who have a detailed history behind their group. Most of them look to be Yuki’s age, and they each have a close partner that they fight with. In fact, they’re almost always seen in pairs and act like a big family. Their characterizations are very well done, for they have distinct personalities, fully developed backgrounds, and a strong fighting morale. Seriously, they rarely ever hesitate in battle and emphasize on working as a team. Their close relationships give off a certain charm as they grow into very likeable characters. However, their main drawback is that they can be too sentimental and melodramatic at times, and they constantly worry about Yuki every darn minute. Let the poor feminine boy breathe!
The Duras are the big weakness of the show. None of them can be taken that seriously except for one that appears in a very late episode. The main bad guy turns out to be a horrible cliché (I’m sure you can guess who it is), and his henchmen consist of a pair of evil twins, a giggly girl who collects hot guys, a sexy woman who wants Luka, etc. Some of them easily get obliterated, but the higher-grade demons do receive a bit more characterization.
There are a few side characters who also reside in the Twilight Mansion, such as the doctor, the maid, etc. They are annoying, clichéd, and their comedy doesn't even beat Luka's bizarre outfits. But don’t worry; they don’t actually get a lot of screen time. I nearly dropped this series when they were introduced too.
This anime is classified as shounen-ai, meaning boy-love. But if you’re coming into this expecting something along the lines of Gravitation or Junjou Romantica, you will be disappointed. You will never see any obvious indication of shounen-ai, like 'kissing' for example. Some of the male characters are rather close, but they could also just pass off as best friends. They're left up to your interpretation. Personally, I am not a big shounen-ai fan, so I appreciate how the gay tones are handled in this.
Epic, just epic! This is undoubtedly the best OST that I have heard all year. The music is done by Shōgo Kaida whom I have not quite heard of before. During major battles, the tunes are orchestral, enchanting, and dark, such as “Zweilt Imashime no Te” and “Me wa Yaiba Kami wa Yoru.” Another great track that has a soothing, ghostly choir in the background is called “Bloody†Cross”. During slow scenes, the music is usually airy, melodic, and sweet such as “Kaeranu Hibi Shiroki Ashita.” You can easily find these on YT for streaming.
There are two OP songs, “Till the World without Betrayals” and “Inishie” by Rayflower. They’re decent Jrock at best, but they’re not my favorite, and I probably won’t listen to them again after the series ends.
Uraboku has a lot of things going for itself, such as a likeable, well-developed cast of visually-appealing characters, colorful action, dark undertones, and an epic OST. Plus, the shounen-ai tones are very subtle much to my pleasure. However, the plot really does lack originality, and the villains are clichéd and can’t be taken seriously.read more
X/1999 meets Angel Sanctuary meets Night Head Genesis.
Three episodes of this anime managed to remind me of three series I have previously watched. And I'm not talking about a vague reminder. I'm talking blatantly obvious similarities. Yes, UraBoku demonstrates a serious lack of originality from the start, and it sure is not afraid to admit it. Neither the story nor the characters offer something new and inspiring. The art is good, but it also offer very little innovation and originality, especially concerning the characters.
The reason why I've decided to write this review after watching only three episodes is because it would be silly to say that there is still room for surprise or some turn of events that will inject a concentrated amount of originality into UraBoku.
However (yes, there is a however), I absolutely enjoyed every episode I have seen. Sure, I gave it a rational 5, because, so far, it deserves no more (if that), but rationality has nothing to do with the level of enjoyment. The male characters are absolutely beautiful, and I believe there's no fangirl out there incapable enjoying an anime with a life time supply of bishies in it.
As I have mentioned before, originality is not something this anime thrives in. If you're looking for a never-before-seen story - stay away, if you're looking for a character that's complex and different - run like hell. However (yet another one), if you're looking for something familiar and safe, something that will help you turn off your busy brain; if you're looking for your standard shounen ai bishies, you better start watching UraBoku.
So lower your expectations, turn off your brain and just enjoy it. I know I will.read more
It seems Uragiri creators got their hands on some list of ingredients absolutely necessary to make an anime:
bishounen – yes;
shounen-ai – yes;
teen fighters – yes;
magic – yes;
reincarnation – yes;
not so Ordinary High School Student with superpowers – yes;
sexy demon aka loyal servant – yes;
kawaii animal with a forehead gem – yes;
flowing cloaks, crosses, chains and other clanking metal things – in abundance;
sophisticated spells and names in pseudo-German – yes.
Wait, seems there is something missing... Oh, yeah, plot. Well, its optional. As well as logic.
90% of time the screen is occupied by main character Yuki (a boy who happens to be a girl in his previous life), crying and moaning: “Kanata-san! Kanata-san!” – in reference to his best friend who turned out to be the main Bad Guy of this story. Sometimes other characters take the stage, crying and moaning: “Yuki! Yuki!” – in reference to his cruel destiny which makes Yuki to accept people's pain and suffering as his own.
Then, there are meaningless battles with bad guys, in which Yuki, though utterly useless, tries to help his comrades. The problem is his comrades have a mission to protect Yuki while he sees his mission in protecting others, so they all go in circles. And there is no proper ending, as it always happens with anime based on an ongoing manga.
In theory, the story should be made more intriguing by the fact that Yuki-girl and the above mentioned sexy demon by the name of Luka were lovers in their previous life, and Luka still loves Yuki-boy dearly. Unfortunately, Yuki himself doesn't remember anything (though has some vague idea). But every time he tries to talk to Luka about this, they are interrupted by others, who seem to be unable to survive without Yuki even for a minute. So the shounen-ai is somehow incomplete.
The only consolation is that bishounen are in abundance, music is fine and voice actors are good (though always spurting some embarrassing nonsense). All in all, not the worst way to kill time – but not the best either. read more
Yaoi anime and Boys' Love (BL) anime are some of the most recognizable and popular genres in the medium. Have you ever wondered why they are mostly aimed at female audiences and what makes them so irresistible? Come to the dark side for a moment and peek into the magical world of BL fandom.
Sometimes butlers are depicted as graying old men named Jeeves. Other times, they're the kind of butler we can only dream about. These anime butlers will make you wish you had your very own impeccably-dressed servant.